Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 18,1-5.10.12-14
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst,
and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
Be like children
1) They asked Him. Jesus’s followers were more concerned with the position they could have in the Kingdom of heaven than with what the evangelization implied. Time has gone by and this bad attitude of evil still appears. How many times do we believe we are the managers or legal guardians of the Church?! There are people who are unsufferable because they always want to use the Church to show off a certain status. Once, I had to work with a person who unfortunately no one liked in the group. He was so bossy and he spoke as if he knew everything from his experience, so that others could not even give their opinion. Not even the priest! … Anyway… how sad it is when there are people in charge of ecclesial work who end up turning the group into their private club, or a place where they are in charge and exert power. If you have distanced yourself from the Church because you have experienced situations like this, I ask your forgiveness; and if you and I start wanting to have a position inside the Church, let us ask for forgiveness and work on humility. By the way, I want to make it clear that I record and send these audios reflections not because I want to be a bishop or the pope… but because I want to share with you what comes from my heart and proclaim the Gospel.
2) Like children. Jesus proposes you should have the attitude of children: trusting your Father God, knowing that He will never leave you alone. God will never leave you ! Also, keep an attitude of joy, because a child brings happiness to life and is the joy of the family. At some point you were happy but, perhaps you are no longer so. Another attitude of children we should have is being simple because that is what Jesus proposes. Simplicity is at the core of childhood. Find your joy again in simple things and stop being so complicated and bitter. You can give a lot because at some point in your life you were open and gave freely.
3) Not one will be lost. No one is lost in the Church; we are called to strive to save every person. It is not our task to judge or discard anyone. This attitude is hard for us in the Church; we may even go to the extreme of judging others by saying: “Look who came to church today !…What is she doing here ?…Hmm.. what’s her intention?”. We can all change sooner or later; just look at those Champions League players that Jesus chose as disciples : a traitor who hangs himself; the big-leaguer of the apostles who denies Him three times in fact; and the others who fight over positions, and not one of them remains with Him when things get tough. God calls on those you least imagine! This reminds us that we can all be saved if we want to be.
God bless you and be with you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t forget: Heaven is our goal!